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Home>Plant, Process & Control>Industry 4.0>Unified platform seamlessly shares data

Unified platform seamlessly shares data

13 October 2019

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has migrated all elements of its ESAB Digital Solutions offering to a unified platform powered by Microsoft Azure IoT and using the ThingWorx Industrial Innovation Platform from PTC. The move enables the system to seamlessly share data between components on the backend.

ESAB’s suite of digital services links plate optimisation, cutting, welding, gas management and quality assurance to drive continuous improvement in traceability, documentation, asset management, productivity and quality. 

“Manufacturers and fabricators that want to be part of the digital transformation need a solution that connects every step of the metalworking process, and ESAB is one of the very few industry partners to offer a complete portfolio of digital services,” says Ludvig Enlund, general manager, ESAB Digital Solutions. 

ESAB’s digitally-linked service offerings include Columbus III CAD/CAM nesting software for mechanised cutting, CutCloud for cutting productivity data, WeldCloud and WeldCloud Universal Connector for welding productivity, WeldQAS and WeldScanner for real-time monitoring and recording of arc characteristics as well as various gas management systems. 

“ESAB Digital Solutions enables users to put data to work to drive continuous improvement in four major areas: asset management, productivity, quality and documentation/traceability,”  says Enlund. 

In one recent success story, the capabilities of ESAB Digital Solutions reduced the time the welding supervisor spent on documentation by one hour per week, per welding station. 

“Products such as WeldCloud, WeldScanner and WeldQAS automate what is a tedious and costly process that is also prone to human error,” says Enlund. “With the need for documentation and traceability growing, especially in the power, wind tower, offshore, pressure vessel, shipbuilding and other industries, connected solutions help fabricators use time more productively.”

In a second example, ESAB’s Digital Solutions enabled a fabricator of agricultural equipment to increase MIG welding arc-on time from 10 to 20 percent.

“A fabrication step that had previously been a bottleneck now provides the productivity essential for meeting demand,” says Enlund. “The customer identified activities that they could offload from their highly skilled welding operators, freeing them to focus more on welding.”

In the third example,  an ESAB technician used a cloud-based solution to diagnose faults that occurred when an end-user forgot to put coolant into a water-cooled system. 

“Receiving alerts via text and email, such as for a system that suddenly shuts down or operates outside of specifications, are standard features on our suite of services,” says Enlund.